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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 249502, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/249502
Review Article

Key Success Factors and Future Perspective of Silicon-Based Solar Cells

1Milano-Bicocca Solar Energy Research Center (MIB-SOLAR), Department of Materials Science, University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cozzi 53, 20126 Milano, Italy
2Centre for Materials and Microsystems, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Via Sommarive 18, 38123 Trento, Italy

Received 18 January 2013; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editor: Sudhakar Shet

Copyright © 2013 S. Binetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Today, after more than 70 years of continued progress on silicon technology, about 85% of cumulative installed photovolatic (PV) modules are based on crystalline silicon (c-Si). PV devices based on silicon are the most common solar cells currently being produced, and it is mainly due to silicon technology that the PV has grown by 40% per year over the last decade. An additional step in the silicon solar cell development is ongoing, and it is related to a further efficiency improvement through defect control, device optimization, surface modification, and nanotechnology approaches. This paper attempts to briefly review the most important advances and current technologies used to produce crystalline silicon solar devices and in the meantime the most challenging and promising strategies acting to increase the efficiency to cost/ratio of silicon solar cells. Eventually, the impact and the potentiality of using a nanotechnology approach in a silicon-based solar cell are also described.